Mayor accused of selling favors says he’s not guilty

Allentown Mayor Edwin Pawlowski arrives at the federal building in Philadelphia, Thursday, July 27, 2017. Indictments made public Wednesday accuse Pawlowski and former Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer of shaking down businesses and individuals for campaign contributions in alleged pay-to-play schemes. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The mayor of Pennsylvania’s third-largest city has pleaded not guilty to federal corruption charges.

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski appeared in court Thursday to deny accusations he accepted more than $150,000 in campaign contributions in exchange for city business.

Prosecutors likened the scheme to putting a for-sale signs on his office.

Pawlowski’s attorney says he’s ready to fight the charges and will continue to seek a fourth term. No court date has been set for the bribery and fraud trial.

Pawlowski will remain free but cannot travel outside the area without consent.

The former mayor of Reading also was indicted this week, accused of shaking down businesses for campaign contributions in return for city work. Vaughn Spencer is due in court Tuesday. His lawyer says he plans to fight the charges.

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